COUPON QUEEN: Tips for smart online holiday shopping

keyboard keys with shopping key with a shopping cart on it

RUBY BEDI
VANCOUVER DESI

Want to save yourself some serious cash this holiday season? Practice smart online shopping.

During the holiday season we tend to spend more than normal.  Considering the socializing, gift-exchanges, potlucks, parties, wish lists and holiday sales, it isn’t hard to get caught up in all the spending.  A great way to save money and avoid claustrophobic malls is to shop online.  Even if you are concerned about using your credit card for internet shopping, you can still save lots of time and money by doing your comparison shopping online.

Pricing

Not all deals are as great as they seem at first glance.  The price for an online item may look lower than advertised in the stores, but keep in mind any additional costs that you may have to pay such as shipping and duty.  Check the shipping options available because some retailers will allow free shipping as a promo or if you pick up the product at one of their retail locations.  Make sure you also search Google or coupon sites for coupon codes that allow free shipping or additional discounts.  If you are browsing for products on non-Canadian sites, you also have to be prepared to pay the duty on your purchase in addition to taxes when the item gets shipped to you.  Duties on goods vary widely, depending on the product and the country in which it was manufactured.  There are estimating tools available online such as Duty Calculator.

Comparison Shopping

Put on your coziest PJs, grab your beverage of choice and get comfy.  Sounds better than an exhausting day running around town searching for deals doesn’t it?  Google is a good place to start your comparison shopping but there are other tools you can use as well.

There are a number of sites referred to as shopping engines that can help you find the best prices locally, across the country and even internationally.  Some Canadian price comparison sites to check out: shopbot.ca, pricegrabber.ca, shoptoit.ca, and nextag.ca.  If you are a cross border shopper also check out American price comparison sites.

A tool I have just started using is Priceblink.  It is a browser add-on available for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or Chrome. What’s cool is that the add-on only appears when you are shopping online, otherwise when surfing it stays hidden. When you are on a site where you are shopping a message bar pops up at the top of your screen to offer coupons, price comparisons and product reviews.  It scans over 4000 merchants to find lower prices for the item you are viewing.  PriceBlink is directed towards a US audience but it is still a great price comparison tool even though it does not cover some familiar Canadian merchants.

There are also sites like redflagdeals.com, pricenetwork.ca, smartcanucks.ca and flyerland.ca.  These sites list deals found by other shoppers, allow you to check flyers from one place and have forums where you can post requests for information once you sign up.

Know the Terms

BEFORE charging your card, make sure to check the return and exchange policies.  They tend to vary widely so it is smart to read them thoroughly before making your purchase so there are no surprises.  Before pressing the submit button to make your purchase, double check all details including the billing and shipping address, the payment information and the total cost.  Print out your documentation and/or receipt or better yet save a tree and save as PDF files onto your computer.  Also, make a note of when your purchase should be arriving so you can follow up with the retailer if you do not receive it.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Ruby Bedi was a Coupon Queen even before coupon savings were trendy. Her passion for saving money is matched to her mission to help people learn to budget, save, and get out of debt by making smart buying choices.  She can be reached at buzzworthybudgets@gmail.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

PNG0419NVAISAKHI-13_215499176

Gallery: 200,000 flood Surrey streets for annual Vaisakhi parade

VANCOUVER DESI About 200, 000 people came out for Surrey’s annual Vaisakhi parade on Saturday. Vaisakhi – which celebrates the Punjab harvest time and the…
Continue Reading »

kate main

Gallery: Duchess Catherine races to the rescue in heels on beachy Sydney tour

GORDON RAYNER THE DAILY TELEGRAPH RUNNING in slow-motion along a golden beach, the Duchess of Cambridge appeared to emulate one of the famous scenes from…
Continue Reading »

Kirpans, stylized swords worn by initiated Sikh men and women as dictated by  their religious beliefs, are now allowed in embassies. Jason Payne/ PNG

Canada to allow Sikh kirpans in its embassies and missions abroad

JEFF LACROIX-WILSON OTTAWA CITIZEN Eight years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that kirpans – the ceremonial daggers worn by those of the Sikh…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

PNG0419NVAISAKHI-13_215499176

Gallery: 200,000 flood Surrey streets for annual Vaisakhi parade

VANCOUVER DESI About 200, 000 people came out for Surrey’s annual Vaisakhi parade on Saturday. Vaisakhi – which celebrates the Punjab harvest time and the…
Continue Reading »

Kirpans, stylized swords worn by initiated Sikh men and women as dictated by  their religious beliefs, are now allowed in embassies. Jason Payne/ PNG

Canada to allow Sikh kirpans in its embassies and missions abroad

JEFF LACROIX-WILSON OTTAWA CITIZEN Eight years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that kirpans – the ceremonial daggers worn by those of the Sikh…
Continue Reading »

Inspector Paulette Freill, left announces at BC RCMP Headquarters in Surrey Thursday April 17, 2014 a 35 year-old Dutch citizen was charged with several criminal offence in connection to the 2012 death of teen Amanda Todd. Amanda's parents Carol, center and Norman Todd, right attended the announcement. Ric Ernst / PNG

Charges laid against Dutch man in Amanda Todd online extortion case

ELAINE O’CONNOR and STEPHANIE IP VANCOUVER DESI Five charges — including harassment and Internet luring — have been laid against Aydin Coban, a Dutch national,…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

File photo: Indian villagers gather near the body of an elephant in a field in the northeastern state of Assam on July 8, 2013. It is believed that the elephant was electrocuted by power lines as they walked through fields of growing rice at night . STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Four elephants die from shoddy electrical wires in Indian forest

VANCOUVER DESI A wild elephant has died after it was electrocuted when it stumbled into low hanging electrical wires in a northeastern Indian forest, according…
Continue Reading »

Indian Lovers Party

Gallery: Weird Indian political party names and symbols

VANCOUVER DESI In a country with over 800 million eligible voters, which symbol you vote for is very important. The largest political parties have simple…
Continue Reading »

worship-India

Six-year-old worshipped for patch of hair on his back that has grown into a tail

VANCOUVER DESI A six-year-old Indian boy is being worshipped by villagers for a small patch of hair on his back that has grown into a…
Continue Reading »

underage-sex-pregnancy-Britain

Opinion: Britain’s youngest mom — 12-year-old — isn’t a case for the midwife, it’s a case for the police

ALLISON PEARSON THE DAILY TELEGRAPH  A girl aged 12 years and three months became Britain’s youngest mother over the weekend. She was still at primary…
Continue Reading »

nude bath

PETA India urges health ministry to ban sale of animal-tested products

IANS New Delhi – Animal rights group PETA has urged India’s health ministry to ban the marketing and sale of animal-tested cosmetics and household products….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Porn Queen-desi

Sunny Leone to host MTV reality dating show

IANS New Delhi — Indo-Canadian adult film star Sunny Leone is back to where she started her career in Hindi showbiz – the small screen….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra showcases a creation by designer Neeta Lulla on the sixth day of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) summer/resort 2014 in Mumbai on March 16, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Mary Kom shoot harder than hardest for Priyanka

IANS Mumbai  – Months of turmoil for Mary Kom have been “harder than the hardest” for Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, who plays the title role…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Amitabh Bachchan’s Bhoothnath Returns screened before Indian president

IANS New Delhi  – Megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s latest film Bhoothnath Returns, a fun-filled film which also highlights the importance of voting, was screened for President…
Continue Reading »